In my old campaign I intended to experiment with demons. The idea was to create a Call of Cthulu type mood, where the players would face some of the most evil entities in the world. As all my other plans, this one never came to fruition, but I did do a little bit of work on it.
The letter I have posted below, was supposed to be found by the players somehow, and reveal the existence of demons. The letter is written to an hitherto unknown arch mage, who for some reason, is interested in the denizens of the lower planes. The letter contains excerpts from a red robe, who apparently traveled to the lower planes with several other people, only to be butchered. The mage Daliath Vos is the sole survivor. This letter was supposed to be the first in a long line of correspondence between the two mages, although the inquiring mage’s identity would always remain a mystery.
Most esteemed Archmagus,
It was not without surprise that I received your request through our mutual friend in Palanthas. Normally I do not share my work with others, even though they belong to the same order as me, but considering your merits and status I feel compelled to respond.
What you are about to read is a short summation of the knowledge I have accumulated over many long years. At great personal risk have I ventured into realms that only a scarce few have been privileged to visit and the price has been high. So has the rewards, because in doing so I have amassed powers that I only dreamed of in my youth.
You will find references to two key researchers of this field: Daliath Vos and Abi-Dalzim. Both of these were great wizards in their own rights, but they have distinguished themselves by the amount of work they have put in to this venture. I would recommend that you search your own library for references to the mages, since they, to the best of my knowledge, are long gone from our part of the world. I am currently gathering information about the two, which I will forward you when ready.
I feel a warning is in its place. This subject is as dangerous as any undertaken by people of our profession. The person venturing in to this realm risks not only his existence but his very soul. Duly warned, I present to you The Demonology of Krynn.
Gil-Galad uth Vakaar
Archmagus of The Black Robes
I first started to take an interest in the lower planes when I accidentally came across a book by the great Archmagus Abi-Dalzim. From what I understand he was a powerful wizard of the Black Robes who hailed from the lands of Kuhr. I have been unable to determine when he was alive, but I have reason to believe that he at some point in time served the Great Fistandantilus as an apprentice. Abi-Dalzim claimed to have devised a spell that allowed him to scry into the Abyss without actually going there physically. I have attempted to copy his method and have met with some success. During this scrying, Abi-Dalzim saw beings, which he had never even heard of, much less seen. Since he was familiar with many of the races of the nether spheres this, needless to say, came as a surprise. Thus, he started the work that I am now continuing.
What I am able to understand from these ancient texts the Abyss is home to a race of beings that, for a lack of a better word, are Demons. It seems that these beings are native to that particular plane, and that they wield great power, power that rival that of many deities. Now, these Demons, or Tanar’ri as they call themselves, are not gods in their own rights, since they are unable to grant power to their followers. I will explore the worship of the creatures later. However, they do seem to at the very least, dominate large portions of the nether planes in a manner that resembles a lordship. So, according to your question I will now turn to the matter of the so-called Lords of the Abyss. I first encountered a reference to the Lord of the Abyss, when I read the work of Daliath Vos. He was a mage of the Red Robes, who along with his companions actually ventured into the Abyss themselves for undisclosed reasons. Needless to say, this was many eons ago, but after Abi-Dalzim started his work. I have here part of Daliath Vos’ account of what transpired in the Abyss as he later wrote it in the Nethertome:
There is a place where Evil has a face and a body. There is a place where Evil lives and breathes. Within this place of torment they live, the Masters of Hate, Agony and Rage. From the deepest and darkest pits of the Nether World they rule through power so great that mere mortals can do nothing but bow down in homage.
It was to these pits we traveled in search of power and knowledge. Little did we know what fate had in store for us. Sir Gavin the Paladin was the first to fall when his God failed to aid him. What happened to the Holy Daughter Tamera I cannot say, as for the rest they must have been dragged away by the servants of the Lords.
I have come to the conclusion that I was allowed to escape so my tale could be told as a warning to other foolish mortals who want to seek out the Lords of Hate.
-Daliath Vos, Archmagus of the Red Robes
Tower of High Sorcery, Losarcum
I believe that this tale provides us with some information concerning the denizens of the nether spheres. Firstly, it appears that there is a hierarchy, which is based on power, meaning that the least powerful creatures serve more powerful entities. I cannot for sure say how many echelons there exist but my guess is around five. There are most likely several different races in each echelon while I suspect the more powerful creatures are unique. As for their relationship with the Gods I can only speculate. Personally, I think some of the hordes do serve the deities of Krynn, although some of them appear to be independent or at least in service of hitherto unknown masters.
Lastly, I feel I should warn you again. Despite your renown and your obvious power, which we witnessed in Neraka, meddling with the affairs of the nether spheres can only bring doom to the unfortunate. However, I will share any information with you at the usual fee if necessary. You can contact me through our Red Robed broker.